Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/8 - We Can Live With A Nuclear Iran, How To Understand The Monetary System, An Easy Guide To The Federal Debt

Thursday, March 8, 2012, 11:46 AM
  • We Can Live With A Nuclear Iran
  • Cause, Effect And The Fallacy Of Returning To Normalcy
  • Jesse's Café Américain: The Failure of the Current Banking Model and the Calculated Mispricing of Risk
  • Detroit Police Roll Out New 911 Policy
  • How To Understand The Monetary System
  • Bill Black: US Exports Flawed Economic Dogma; the Results are Disastrous
  • Debt Limit: A Guide To American Federal Debt Made Easy
  • Libor Links Deleted as U.K. Bank Group Backs Away From Rate
  • Hank The Cat Runs For Senate, Faces Negative Ad From Dogs
  • People Like Expensive Health Care, Study Finds
  • Market Pulse: Jitters ahead of Greek deadline
  • First Study Where Fortune 100 Executives Were Screened For Psychopathy [Podcast] Interview With Dr. Daniel N. Jones, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher for Dr. Robert Hare Ph.D.
  • Jim Grant Must Watch: "Capitalism Is An Alternative For What We Have Now"
  • Factors That Could Make $5 A Gallon Gas The Norm

Follow our steps to prepare for a world after peak oil, such as how to store & filter water

Economy

We Can Live With A Nuclear Iran (jdargis)

Thus we find ourselves at a strange pass. Those in the United States who genuinely yearn for war are still a neoconservative minority. But the danger that war might break out—and that the hawks will get their way—has nonetheless become substantial. The U.S. has just withdrawn the last troops from one Middle Eastern country where it fought a highly costly war of choice with a rationale involving weapons of mass destruction. Now we find ourselves on the precipice of yet another such war—almost purely because the acceptable range of opinion on Iran has narrowed and ossified around the “sensible” idea that all options must be pursued to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Cause, Effect And The Fallacy Of Returning To Normalcy (JimQ)

The definition of normal is: “The usual, average, or typical state or condition”. The fallacy is calling what we’ve had for the last three decades of illusion – Normal. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve experienced abnormal psychotic behavior by the citizens of this country, aided and abetted by Wall Street and their sugar daddies at the Federal Reserve. You would have to be mad to believe the debt financed spending frenzy of the last few decades was not abnormal.

Jesse's Café Américain: The Failure of the Current Banking Model and the Calculated Mispricing of Risk (June C.)

Fraud is corrosive, and impinges on what Samuel Johnson called that confidence which constitutes the ease and existence of society. And taken to the extreme levels which we have seen from the Wall Street Banks, the manipulating of markets to achieve personal profits, even under the excuse of governmental ends, becomes an assault on society as a whole.

Detroit Police Roll Out New 911 Policy (Phil H.)

Since officers couldn't get to a majority of the 850,000 calls to 911 last year, most of the time you'll talk to an operator, not a cop.

Nobody in the police department wanted to explain this on camera, but I'm told by a spokesperson if your call is life-threatening, you'll get an officer. Nobody we spoke to, however, thought this was a good idea.

How To Understand The Monetary System (adam)

As described in Michael Maloney’s book, “Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver,” before the Federal Reserve was created, each U.S. Treasury note (paper dollar) was fully backed by gold or silver. When the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913, the amount of gold backing each dollar was reduced to just 40% of the face value of existing currency. In effect, this allowed the U.S. government to increase the amount of currency it could create and spend by 60%, enabling deficit spending for World War I and the accompanying increase of the currency supply.

Bill Black: US Exports Flawed Economic Dogma; the Results are Disastrous (Jaime)

On the natural tendency of unregulated capitalism to evolve into crony capitalism: Pure capitalist systems do not exist anywhere - for very good reason; they throw lots of humanity into the ditch, and they produce elite criminals. Unregulated capitalism tends to evolve into crony capitalism. Conservative economists like Adam Smith have recognized this from the beginning. They always emphasize that government must be there. And they always emphasize one key role for government: Enforcing the law against fraud. Even Ayn Rand emphasized that the government is essential to stop businesses from using fraud.

Debt Limit: A Guide To American Federal Debt Made Easy (cmartenson)

http://www.youtube.com/watch%3fv=Li0no7O9zmE

A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family

Libor Links Deleted as U.K. Bank Group Backs Away From Rate (June C.)

Libor, the basis for $360 trillion of securities worldwide, has transformed from a talisman of London’s influence in financial markets to an albatross for the industry. Regulators worldwide are investigating whether banks routinely lied about their true borrowing costs to avoid the perception they faced difficulty raising funds and traders rigged submissions to benefit their own wagers on derivatives linked to the rate. The probes have called into question whether banks can be trusted to set Libor with only minimal regulatory oversight.

Hank The Cat Runs For Senate, Faces Negative Ad From Dogs (Dagny)

Hank’s political career began when O’Leary ran the cat as a write-in candidate in a recent state election as a joke. The furry feline received nine votes, so Roberts and O’Leary launched Hank’s campaign. Since then, the cat’s sudden spate of publicity has crashed his website, HankForSenate.com.

People Like Expensive Health Care, Study Finds (denszcz)

Hibbard's team studied 1,400 workers, offering them different doctors and care options. If they were given details on price alone, the volunteers chose the most expensive choice. But if given details about the quality of care, they moderated their choices, Hibbard's team said.

Market Pulse: Jitters ahead of Greek deadline (ewilkerson)

Markets claw back some of Tuesday's heavy losses, but investors still nervous as Greek debt swap deadline looms.

First Study Where Fortune 100 Executives Were Screened For Psychopathy [Podcast] Interview With Dr. Daniel N. Jones, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher for Dr. Robert Hare Ph.D. (Davos The Narcissist)

“The Dark Triad of Personality” called Machiavellianism, Psychopathy & Narcissism. When you get these 3 together in an organization it is a particularly toxic outcome because they feed off each other’s unethical behavior.

Jim Grant Must Watch: "Capitalism Is An Alternative For What We Have Now" (Davos)

Maria Bartiromo: “What are the alternatives?”

Jim Grant: “Capitalism is an alternative for what we have now. I highly recommend it.”

Factors That Could Make $5 A Gallon Gas The Norm (James S.)

Even though the economy is somewhat stronger than it was a year ago, the demand for gas is still down around 400 kbd. (8.746 against 9.101 mbd). In a more conventional market decreasing demand, against constant supply would lead to a fall in prices. That is not likely to happen, and in part this is because the USA only provides a part of the global market where the demand from the developing countries (as Stuart Staniford has noted) is steadily increasing. China, for example, is growing its oil demand at slightly more than 5% p.a. (0.51 mbd y-o-y for December growth) and has reached a total consumption of 9.3 mbd. It is also slowly starting to build its own reserve of oil and has been buying additional oil for that reason. How long that will continue this year is one of those questions to which there is no clear answer, although, since it is apparently buying heavier and higher sulphur crude and it may be acquiring those crudes that Saudi Arabia has previously had problems selling.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

33 Comments

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
We Can Live With A Nuclear Iran (jdargis)

Stockman---who I think the world of- said this:

The policy that they’re talking about right now is the same thing we heard in 2001, 2002, and 2003. And he needs to clearly say that we’re not going to attack Iran. We’re not going to permit Israel to attack Iran. They are not part of the axis of evil. They’re part of the axis of medieval.

Clip here and I thought a nice companion to jdargis's link above.

Of course, here is what our politicans have to say...

Barack Obama would supply Israel with bunker-busters and refueling planes if Bibi promised to delay an Iran attack until after the presidential election

Link to Zero Hedge

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1264
My guess is this study is flawed...

[quote=People like expensive health care article]

Hibbard's team studied 1,400 workers, offering them different doctors and care options. If they were given details on price alone, the volunteers chose the most expensive choice. But if given details about the quality of care, they moderated their choices, Hibbard's team said.

I wonder if they said, here which do you choose, then paid for the care no matter what the person picked?  That would be my guess and of course people will pick the most expensive option.  Now when you say, okay give me the money I bet we get a much more realistic selection....

If people actually paid for the care, then I would like to see the demographic of the participants I just don't believe that you will get different behavior in health care than with any other purchase.  People will nearly always say they prefer the more expensive option, but if actually making a purchase will weigh the cost in the context of all the other purchases they have to make. 

I would prefer a Ferrari, but I bought a Mazda.......

Don Levit's picture
Don Levit
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 26 2010
Posts: 6
Expensive or cheap health care?

If one is looking solely at today, and getting treatment to help return him to "normalcy," why not choose the most expensive option?

Particularly, if one's coverage is 100% after a certain level of payments, why not?

If, however, the person has an underlying primary policy, which is paid-up, he may think twice about claims, particularly smaller claims.

This is because he will receive a notice showing him, after the claim, how his paid-up coverage has reduced, how his deductible covered by the primary plan is reduced, and his next month's premium is increased.

Don Levit

redfir223's picture
redfir223
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 10 2012
Posts: 19
Nuclear Iran

  I think it ought to be pointed out that from what I have read about Ahmedinejad is that he has repeatedly stated that he hates Israel and would like to exterminate all Jews. He has also prayed to his Mahdi at the UN on more than one occaision for him to return (the Mahdi). For those who are unfamiliar with this, the Mahdi is the Islamic Messiah who, upon his return, will force all non-Islamics to convert or die. His return is precipitated by a cataclysm according to their belief. It has been reported that given the bomb, Amedinejad would use it to hasten the return of the Mahdi therefore raising his status in the new world government the Mahdi would institute. He and his ilk have also called Israel "the little Satan", and the USA "the Great Satan. While I am not an expert on this, it ought to be included in the rhetoric. If it is indeed true, it could have a huge bearing on the conduct of the Iranian government. It is also no secret that Iran has no separation of church and state. The Ayatollahs have great influence on the politics of the nation. I personally have no interest in another war, but I think it may be dangerous to our health as a nation to ignore this information. It should be easy to research for truth or fiction.

redfir223's picture
redfir223
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 10 2012
Posts: 19
Cause and effect

Although credit card companies do make credit easy they don't force people to use the card any more than cigarette companies force people to smoke. This is not a defense of credit card companies or big banks who issue the cards, it is a recognition that people are a product of their decisions. Donut makers do not make fat people fat. People who are drowning in credit card debt are victims of their own lack of self-discipline and foresight.

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
redfir223 wrote: Although

redfir223 wrote:

Although credit card companies do make credit easy they don't force people to use the card any more than cigarette companies force people to smoke. This is not a defense of credit card companies or big banks who issue the cards, it is a recognition that people are a product of their decisions. Donut makers do not make fat people fat. People who are drowning in credit card debt are victims of their own lack of self-discipline and foresight.

A valid point.

That said, with 22.5% unemployment, soaring prices (11% inflation) & circa 1970s stagnant wages---do you think some families are binging on credit | using credit as a life raft?  Only to get washed under by predatory 30% interest?

I mean, you do have the momos that Jim Quinn wrote about here--the ones who took a cumulative total of $9 billion out of HELOC ATMs and bought coffees---whose names I can't even pronounce---at 4-bucks.  But I think you also have folks binging on credit thanks to our idiotic globalization which A.) let China go from 168 miles of paved highway and 5.5 million cars in 1990 to 53,000 miles of paved highway (more than we have) and 200 million gas burners on them today.  

Today Asia uses more oil than we do, global production is at about 87MM b/pd and consumption is about 82MM b/pd.  We can thank the Fed for sending our good jobs there so they can buy cars and gas now.

“Everyone I’ve talked to continues to try to figure out ways to exploit globalization. Each of them, from the IT [information technology] guys to the big box retailers to the specialty chemical firms to the service firms, wants to have offshore supply. One of the CEOs said, “We have a long way to go in exploiting China.” We’ve heard that forever. And one of my favorites was the comment, “China, India, and Indonesia can make Italian ceramics better than Italians can now or could 200 years ago.” [Laughter] Federal Reserve's FOMC 2005 minutes.

I don't think gas prices will be heading south.  And since oil is an integral part of everything I don't think prices in general will be headed south.  And since wages aren't going up now that we compete against 3 cent an hour labor and send service jobs off-shore, well I don't see wages going up.

So to get by what will people do?  "For everything else there is Visa."  And thanks to Nancy Pelosi who gets a 5M IPO from Visa for ____________ credit card regulations I see more preditory lending.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2465
Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Never believe evrything you read without checking first

redfir223 wrote:

  I think it ought to be pointed out that from what I have read about Ahmedinejad is that he has repeatedly stated that he hates Israel and would like to exterminate all Jews.

"Wiped off the map" controversy

On October 26, 2005, IRIB News, an English-language subsidiary of the state-controlled Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), filed a story on Ahmadinejad's speech to the "World Without Zionism" conference in Asia, entitled: Ahmadinejad: Israel must be wiped off the map.[1] The story was picked up by Western news agencies and quickly made headlines around the world. On October 30, The New York Times published a full transcript of the speech in which Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying:

Our dear Imam (referring to Ayatollah Khomeini) said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world.[2]

Ahmadinejad said that the issue with Palestine would be over "the day that all refugees return to their homes [and] a democratic government elected by the people comes to power",[3] and denounced attempts to normalise relations with Israel, condemning all Muslim leaders who accept the existence of Israel as "acknowledging a surrender and defeat of the Islamic world."

The speech indicated that he considered Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to be a trick, designed to gain acknowledgment from Islamic states. In a rally held two days later, Ahmadinejad declared that his words reflected the views of the Iranian people, adding that Western world was free to comment, but its reactions were invalid.[4]

[edit] Translation controversy

Many news sources repeated the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting statement by Ahmadinejad that "Israel must be wiped off the map",[5][6] an English idiom which means to "cause a place to stop existing",[7] or to "obliterate totally",[8] or "destroy completely".[9]

Ahmadinejad's phrase was "بايد از صفحه روزگار محو شود" according to the text published on the President's Office's website.[10]

The translation presented by the official Islamic Republic News Agency has been challenged by Arash Norouzi, who says the statement "wiped off the map" was never made and that Ahmadinejad did not refer to the nation or land mass of Israel, but to the "regime occupying Jerusalem". Norouzi translated the original Persian to English, with the result, "the Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."[11]Juan Cole, a University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History, agrees that Ahmadinejad's statement should be translated as, "the Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).[12] According to Cole, "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' because no such idiom exists in Persian." Instead, "he did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."[13] The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated the phrase similarly, as "this regime" must be "eliminated from the pages of history."[14]

Iranian government sources denied that Ahmadinejad issued any sort of threat. On 20 February 2006, Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference: "How is it possible to remove a country from the map? He is talking about the regime. We do not recognize legally this regime."[15][16][17]

Shiraz Dossa, a professor of Political Science at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, also believes the text is a mistranslation.[18]

Ahmadinejad was quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini in the specific speech under discussion: what he said was that "the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time." No state action is envisaged in this lament; it denotes a spiritual wish, whereas the erroneous translation – "wipe Israel off the map" – suggests a military threat. There is a huge chasm between the correct and the incorrect translations. The notion that Iran can "wipe out" U.S.-backed, nuclear-armed Israel is ludicrous.[19][20][21]

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 467
We The People

We, The People, are our own worst enemy.  Our political leaders are a reflection of the cross-section of America.  To the extent We are shortsighted, they are shortsighted.  To the extent we don't want to face unpleasant facts, they don't want to face unpleasant facts.  To the extent we commit fraud and stab each other in the back, they do the same.  To the extent we spend beyond our means, they spend beyond their/our means.  (Of course, this is NOT to say that those in positions of power and wealth don't mislead and abuse We The People, because they DO. This is also NOT to say that those who are blessed with greater intelligence, power, wealth, opportunity, etc. don't have a responsibility to serve the rest and are held to a higher standard, because they ARE.)  Before we start hanging bankers and politicians from lampposts, We The People should do a lot of soul-searching.  It's time we each conducted our own searching and fearless moral inventories (of OURSELVES), as they do in 12 Step programs.  Redfir223, Davos, and Jim Quinn are all correct.  But I say the most important changes that have to occur have to occur inside the hearts of average Americans.  When that happens, we will make the necessary changes in our selves, politics, banking, corporations and economy.  Unfortunately, I believe we have to hit the wall before large numbers of Americans are jolted from their sleep enough to even start the process.  One of the few ways of looking at this positively is that there will probably be many fewer Americans around to search their own souls because so many won't survive long after hitting the wall.  Another hope I have is that America has gone through two Great Awakenings in our past like what we need now.  It can happen.

The Wikipedia entry is weak, especially on the social and moral changes that occurred: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Awakening

This is a better start:  http://www.great-awakening.com/?page_id=22 

redfir223's picture
redfir223
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 10 2012
Posts: 19
Reply

I do not disagree with you that credit card companies are predatory, nor do I wish to paint all users of credit cards with the same brush. Many of those who are shackled with credit card debt are the same ones who took out home equity loans to go on vacation, buy a new SUV, a boat, or some other depreciating asset instead of saving up for these things. Part of the problem with these folks is the inability to delay gratification, thereby making decisions which produce pain later and seem to have no clue that they do it to themselves. I was not talking about those who use credit cards to feed their family after losing a job unexpectedly, or use them responsibly and pay them off evey month. Thank you for your response. That is what makes this forum lively- the exchange of ideas. No one is absolutely correct all of the time.

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
redfir223

redfir223 wrote:

...no clue that they do it to themselves.

Perhaps we can take that out of context and add to it: No clue that they do it to themselves or others?

There are three things about prices I often wonder about:

  1. What would people answer when asked, "What'd you pay for college, that house, that car, that coat?" If there was a truth of lending clause answer that had to be provided.  Suddenly that $250K house becomes a $500K house, that $39K car becomes a $45K dollar car, college isn't $80K it's $160K...
  2. Predicated on that hypothetic truth of lending cluse answer---what would inflation really be?
  3. What would the cost of "stuff" be if we all saved up for it?  Seriously, how many kids would be in college without loans?  Would there be a need for student loans if people couldn't afford $20K a year for college?  How many would go?  What would that do to prices?

I get the impression we both despise credit.  

I guess my thoughts are why there is so much use of it?  

Is it just marketing?  I don't have TV largely because of that. 

But, is it too nefarious to believe that the bankers tossed us under the globalization bus, the housing bus, the government debt bus in order to make us dependent on credit thereby creating a country of debt slaves? 

2OLD4OKEYDOKE's picture
2OLD4OKEYDOKE
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 72
Research the easy way?

"It should be easy to research for truth or fiction." --redfir223

Right ......

2OLD4OKEYDOKE's picture
2OLD4OKEYDOKE
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 72
Jesse's link to Golem XIV

Thanks to June C. for link to recent (March 6, 2012) Jesse's Café and from there on to Golem XIV!

Of course, this is one of Jesse's more philosophical essays.

For those interested in such thought, I suggest also the American Monetary Institute -- not only providing diagnosis but also detailing a possible cure on the macro level. (Not my intention to stir up controversy, just calling attention to a generally overlooked approach to the ongoing monetary-financial meltdown.)

http://www.monetary.org/intro-to-monetary-reform

Book, 'The Lost Science of Money', and, free download PDF, 'Comprehensive Explanation of Monetary Reform'.

Quoted for review purposes from http://www.monetary.org/the-need-for-monetary-reform/2009/09 ---

"The power to create money is an awesome power – at times stronger than the Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers combined. It’s like having a “magic checkbook,” where checks can’t bounce. When controlled privately it can be used to gain riches, but much more importantly it determines the direction of our society by deciding where the money goes – what gets funded and what does not ....

"Thus the money issuing power should never be alienated from democratically elected government and placed ambiguously into private hands as it is in America in the Federal Reserve System today. Indeed, most people would be surprised to learn that the bulk of our money supply is not created by our government, but by private banks when they make loans. Through the Fed’s fractional reserve process the system creates “money” when banks make loans into accounts; so most of our money is issued as interest-bearing debt ....

"Under the Constitution, Article I, Sec. 8, our government has the sovereign power to issue money and spend it into circulation to promote the general welfare, for example, through the creation and repair of infrastructure, including human infrastructure – health and education – rather than misusing the money system for speculation as banking has historically done; periodically causing one crisis after another. Our lawmakers must now reclaim that power!

"Money has value because of skilled people, resources, and infrastructure, working together in a supportive social and legal framework. Money is the indispensable lubricant that lets them “run.” It is not tangible wealth in itself, but a power to obtain wealth. Money is an abstract social power based in law; and whatever government accepts in payment of taxes will be money. Money’s value is not created by the private corporations that now control it. As Aristotle wrote: “Money exists not by nature but by law."

"Unhappily, mankind’s experience with private money creation has undeniably been a long history of fraud, mismanagement and even villainy, and the present crisis could become the worst yet!"
 

2OLD4OKEYDOKE's picture
2OLD4OKEYDOKE
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 72
The good old silver certificate

Another, and totally excellent, review or analysis of the global monetary system -- thanks to adam and Michael Mlolone (The Wealth Cycle Principle)!

For better or for worse, I am old enough to remember when probably the most common form of the dollar bill was the Silver Certificate -- redeemable in silver dollars.

Talk about the good old days!

2OLD4OKEYDOKE's picture
2OLD4OKEYDOKE
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 72
Dave Summers on energy markets

Thanks to James S. for linking to Dave Summers at oilprice.com!

DurangoKid's picture
DurangoKid
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 25 2008
Posts: 173
A Nuclear Iran

Let's suppose Bibi wants to bomb Iran. We know there's a sizeable fraction of the elites in the US who agree that bombing Iran is a good idea. My question is whether or not the US has the cred to back up Israel after the Israelis attack a Muslim country without provocation. They claim that an Iranian a-bomb is an existential threat, but what does that mean, really? An Iranian a-bomb would be a defensive measure as any country who uses such a weapon preemptively or unprovoked would be at the very least a pariah state and quite possibly retaliated against in kind. The problem for Israel and the US is that once Iran has nuclear arms, it cannot be attacked. Perhaps the whole dispute is really about keeping Iran under the influence of western pressure tactics and at some point in the not too distant future, vulnerable to attack. Strategic planners love options. A nuclear armed Iran removes many options for the US and its ally Israel to project power in the region.

Of course Israel has more cards in its hand than it lets on. Finding a just and equitable settlement for the occupied lands would do a lot to take the wind out of the sails of their Muslim critics. If Israel were to withdraw to the 1967 borders and not raze the infrastructure in the occupied lands, a lot of the anti-Zionist rhetoric would evaporate overnight. But we can see by their actions Israeli elites want to play the military card as long as they perceive themselves to be stronger than their adversaries. This includes a military solution to the 1967 borders, i.e., 'we have it, just try and take it back from us!' Israel is interested in peace only after all of its enemies are dead or disarmed. And the fact that the US elites see fit to give them over $3,000,000,000/yr. in military aid makes their stance possible.

So, Bibi likes to go on a rant. I think a lot of it is testing for how many of the political elites actually back him. For sure, the war lobby is on his side. There's always a tidy profit to be had in selling things that go boom. Then there are the sheeple who will run toward the opposite side of the pen whenever they hear a loud noise. The crowd he has to convince is the movers and shakers who keep their pencils sharp and at the ready to tally up the cost/benefit ratios. If Bibi can convince them destroying Iran is a net profit, he might very well get his war.

Of course a lot of people, mostly from the 99%, will die and a lot of infrastructure, their housing, businesses, and public works, will be destroyed. Add to that the maimed and psychologically damaged. That's not a cost to the 1%. If anything, it's an opportunity for contracts to rebuild it all, so, call it a win. The real question is would a country that attacks Iran get bogged down before the objectives can be realized? And it can get bogged down not just in Iran, but back home where, hopefully, millions of people take to the streets in a rather PO'd mood.

Perhaps the best way to keep the US from attacking Iran is to let the 1% know they'll have a big mess over here to contend with. What would Joe Sixpack do if he could be convinced that his future employment is going up in smoke in Tehran? Or maybe make the link between $7/gallon gasoline and the closing of the Straits of Hormuz? If we the 99% want to keep the US out of Iran, we have to convince the 1% it will not be worth it.

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 937
Agreed

Yes, it's amusing that he says "We" can tolerate a nuclear Iran. "We" are many thousands of miles from Iran. He's not an Israeli. People I know in Israel are not as able to tolerate the anxiety of a nuclear Iran. Even one nuclear missile would wipe out many people. Politicians have to respond to the mood of their citizens. The Israelis have lived with the threat of war for decades but not massive, instantaneous destruction of their families. I don't think they'll live with a nuclear Iran.

CS 

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1264
Who's the fool?

redfir223 wrote:

Part of the problem with these folks is the inability to delay gratification, thereby making decisions which produce pain later and seem to have no clue that they do it to themselves.

I'm not sure who is getting the pain - but so far it certainly looks like it's  not  a lesson to those who are unable to delay gratification:

I opened my property tax bill today and found that my taxes have up gone while the property has dropped in value, and why, because a huge portion of my property tax goes to indigent health care in my county.  Currently the portion of my property tax bill which goes to indigent care is about the same amount as I pay for a high deductable ($10K) private health insurance plan!  Yet the poor get the same care (including expensive transplants), don't have to deal with insurance, and pay nothing while I have to make sacrifices to keep my premiums affordable! 

  

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1264
No risk lending.....

Davos regarding credit wrote:

I guess my thoughts are why there is so much use of it?  

Is it just marketing?  I don't have TV largely because of that. 

 

It's because there is low to no risk for those that supply credit.  Look at the places that have the largest credit problems - housing and student loans. Why - because the government guarantees the loans for the lenders.  So it's highly profitable for those that have no risk to push as much credit as possible.  Those that profit (real estate agents and colleges) have an incentive to connect as many customers to the lenders a possible, since once they get their money their is no risk to them.

On top of that there is no reason to be price competitive.  If you can also tell the customer, just get a loan - look how easy it is.  No reason to price compete, you can always find someone to take out a loan.

We need to get risk back into lending so that if you choose to make a bad loan, you pay the price.  No more goverment (read TAXPAYER)  backing for any type of loans! PERIOD!  This would also cause prices to correct as a product (house/degree) would have to be affordable to the customers and the providers would have to compete on price for customers. 

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
rhare wrote:We need to get

rhare wrote:

We need to get risk back into lending so that if you choose to make a bad loan, you pay the price.  No more goverment (read TAXPAYER)  backing for any type of loans! PERIOD!  This would also cause prices to correct as a product (house/degree) would have to be affordable to the customers and the providers would have to compete on price for customers. 

Boy, you and Jim---"Capitalism is an alternative for what we have now. I highly reccomend it"---Grant are on that capitalism kick. 

Not only is it backed by the taxpayer, but then after we "bail out their loss" then we get stuffed with the idiot stimulus "plans" like Cash for Clunkers and First Time Buyers.  Buying dimes with dollars---for every stimulus dollar we pay, 9 cents makes it to GDP.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1836
Can't Blame The Fed For Everything

Davos

We can thank businesses (and the politicians they lobby) for outsourcing jobs to other countries where labor is TEN TIMES cheaper and bureaucratic and environmental regulations lax or non-existent.

The Federal Reserve isn't what causes businesses to constantly seek sources of lower labor and input costs. Factories in the Industrial North relocated to the places like the Carolinas, then to places like Mississippi, then south across the border to Mexico, and now to China. Even today, some factories in China are moving to Vietnam. I predict the next labor frontier will be Africa.

It's just a natural inclination for a business to seek lower labor costs and other input costs, wherever they may be found. It allows them to deliver cheaper prices to the consumer, or keep price the same while pocketing the extra income - usually a bit of both. This would occur regardless of whether there was a Federal Reserve or not.

If American businesses didn't outsource manufacturing to other countries, then other countries would use their own manufacturing labor cost and regulatory advantages to compete. After all, isn't that's how companies like Toyota and Nissan (then Datsun), and later Hyundai and Kia were originally able (deacdes ago) to produce their vehicles, pay to import their cars in shipping containers, and still do well in the U.S. auto market? By competing against cars by G.M. (where retirees have outnumbered workers by 2 to 1 for at least a decade or more)? Isn't that also why G.M. makes cars in China to sell to China, rather than make them in the U.S. to ship to China?

We can blame the Federal Reserve for a lot of things. But not for a basic tenet of running a business.

Poet

Davos wrote:

We can thank the Fed for sending our good jobs there so they can buy cars and gas now.

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2484
DurangoKid wrote: Let's

DurangoKid wrote:

Let's suppose Bibi wants to bomb Iran. We know there's a sizeable fraction of the elites in the US who agree that bombing Iran is a good idea. My question is whether or not the US has the cred to back up Israel after the Israelis attack a Muslim country without provocation. They claim that an Iranian a-bomb is an existential threat, but what does that mean, really? An Iranian a-bomb would be a defensive measure as any country who uses such a weapon preemptively or unprovoked would be at the very least a pariah state and quite possibly retaliated against in kind. The problem for Israel and the US is that once Iran has nuclear arms, it cannot be attacked. Perhaps the whole dispute is really about keeping Iran under the influence of western pressure tactics and at some point in the not too distant future, vulnerable to attack. Strategic planners love options. A nuclear armed Iran removes many options for the US and its ally Israel to project power in the region.

Durango - interesting points, but you are incorrect with your assertion that a nuclear Iran cannot be attacked by the US and that a nuclear Iran removes response options or power projection options for the US.  Iran possessing nuclear weapons really doesn't change the dynamic.  Even if Iran were to have weapon, they are missing key elements of a credible strategic nuclear capability. 

1.  Iran DOES NOT have intercontinental delivery capability.  Their longest range weapon is the SHAHAB 3.  It is a medium range, within theater weapon system with a max employment range of about 1200 miles.  The SHAHAB is a knock off of the Korean NODONG - it cannot range the US. 

2.  The Iranian armed forces also do not have a survivable nuclear weapons delivery system.  "Survivable" is a critical aspect to strategic employment - having a survivable leg means that some number of weapons will survive any attack scenario, even riding out a first strike attack.  The US has 14 TRIDENT missile submarines with 24 missiles on each boat, each capable of multiple warhead loading.  Iran merely possessing a nuclear weapon doesn't complicate US nuclear strike planning, nor does it eliminate strike options.  Iran would be in a "use or lose" scenario if the US or Israel were to launch a strike - and that assumes they are capable of launching on tactical warning.  Since the SHAHAB has to be fueled pre-mission, launching out from underneath an incoming strike is not an option for a nuclear Iran. 

3.  Assuming (for some bizarre reason) that Iran would pursue development of a gravity bomb system, they do not have long range aircraft delivery capability to range the US, much less refuel and protect the airframe. 

To varying degrees, Israel is somewhat more limited in response options.  Israel is within range of the SHAHAB 3 and that will definitely factor into their planning.  The limitation for Iran is that they do not possess (yet) the capability to arm enough SHAHABs to deliver a strike capable of neutralizing massive response capability by the Israelis.  Israel is capable of delivering on the order of 300 nuclear weapons.  When a country is faced with threatened sovereignty, the likely response will be to target the largest population centers in Iran in hopes that knowledge of such response capability will provide deterrence.  Israel also has some number of nuclear weapons that are survivable.  No matter what strike scenario the Iranians employed, weapons would be coming back at them.  In an aircraft delivery option, I'd have to give the Israelis an overwhelming advantage in both experience, air to air and ground to air defense systems.

The big difference is that the US doesn't even need to be in the region to project power.  Our submarine launched weapons can range DGZs in Iran without ever leaving US territorial waters.  Our ICBMs can range Iran - right now.  The other difference is that the US can also hold at risk, Iranian nuclear and military facilities with conventional weapons.  We would not have to resort to use of nuclear weapons. Israel would likely have no choice but to respond in kind.  

The one big question mark in such a horrific scenario is what would other regional states do?

Let us just hope we never get to figure out who is right?  Let's also hope that John McCain shuts his pie hole and stops calling for US airstrikes in Syria.  The region is s smoldering ember right now, let's not try to douse it with gasoline.

At least until not well after Peak Oil and there isn't any gasoline........

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Poet wrote: We can blame

Poet wrote:

We can blame the Federal Reserve for a lot of things. But not for a basic tenet of running a business.

The Fed is an enabler.  Credit for most companies is like gas for cars.

“Everyone I’ve talked to continues to try to figure out ways to exploit globalization. Each of them, from the IT [information technology] guys to the big box retailers to the specialty chemical firms to the service firms, wants to have offshore supply. One of the CEOs said, “We have a long way to go in exploiting China.” We’ve heard that forever. And one of my favorites was the comment, “China, India, and Indonesia can make Italian ceramics better than Italians can now or could 200 years ago.” [Laughter] FOMC

 Fed meeting 2005

Banks/the Fed can have tremendous influence, I've seen companies sold and or chopped up when lines of credits were yanked, limited or reduced because the bank was not behind the companies new plans to do whatever, or not do whatever.  They weild a lot of weight.  I just did a 24 million dollar proforma for a client and met with the bank and watched the deal take a new shape---bank molded before my eyes and at the presidential level not the board level.

People who laugh about reducing our wages and exploiting others aren't people.  My point was, and remains, the Fed IS very responsible and I truly think they did it becuase they stood to benifit when everyone became a debt addict.

Think about it for a second Poet: What are the 2 mandates of the Fed? 1.) Maximum employment (what do we have? John Williams 22.5% unemployment) and 2.) Stable prices (what do we have? John Williams 11% inflation or Warren Buffett the buck lost 86% of it's value since I started this game in 1966). ***and really he started in 1962 despite what he wrote in his letter.

So what you're saying is that by the Fed standing behind globalization they aren't really responsible?  

How does that check out:

1.) They know we're shipping jobs away---bad idea for mandate #1.  Do they stop it? Nope.

In fact the FOMC meetings are riddled with jokes on us.  Link to my January 2011 piece.  They laughed about the housing bubble, how the really good bubble Greenspan times are going to be really bad soon, which party likes to borrow more, and about the dollars depreciation.

2.) They know we're competing agains $2 a day labor, so our wages stay down and each day more debt has to be created to pay interest so the value of the dollar tanks and we become debt slaves just to float....---bad idea for mandate #2.

But yeah, I know they're not the ONLY ONES to blame, in fact recently I wrote Globalization: Terminal Economic Cancer [Featured Article-Revised 2.19.2012]  and in it I wrote:

Globalization was nothing more than CEO’s realizing that their job and pay was directly tied to their stock’s performance, not corporate profits.  Exploiting cheap labor was a get rich quick scheme.

Additionally the 535   edited for CM site on the hill  were making it impossible for businesses to conduct business within the states.  High taxes, insane regulations, lack of well educated labor (our schools edited for cm site, we’re 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math), easier foreign government investment and a more favorable business climate,  Unions didn’t help.  Apple has a factory in China with 300,000 employees that requires 30,000 “engineers”.  Not PhD engineers, just people trained in a trade school.  Jobs said the US doesn’t have that many engineers.

Take care

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1264
The Fed - a whole lot of damage

Poet wrote:

The Federal Reserve isn't what causes businesses to constantly seek sources of lower labor and input costs. Factories in the Industrial North relocated to the places like the Carolinas, then to places like Mississippi, then south across the border to Mexico, and now to China.

...

We can blame the Federal Reserve for a lot of things. But not for a basic tenet of running a business.

Actually they can be blamed for much of the outsourcing because they caused all kind of distortions throughout the system that enabled it.

While companies will seek to cut costs by moving manufacturing to cheaper areas, it is a huge expense to build that manufacturing capability. Who is going to supply the money to do so?  Ah cheap capital from the Fed makes the move so much easier.

Who is going to buy the products when you kill the good paying jobs in the US by moving manufacturing to some foreign land, oh wait, never mind we have financialized the whole system and blew giant asset bubbles (house)  making people feel much more wealthy and willing to buy those products.

How about the ultra cheap energy prices the US has enjoyed due to having the fiat reserve currency of the world.  That has certainly made shipping costs for materials and finished goods much much cheaper than they would be without the Fed and the cheap energy prices due to the petro dollar.

So see - yes the Fed can be blamed for a whole lot of the business outsourcing as well.  They may not be responsible for it all but they are an enabler of bad behavior and mal-investment.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2714
Dogs

That's as good a summation of the strategic and tactical situation in the ME I've seen anywhere.  It seems that, if Iran can develop a nuclear weapon and delivery system, they would essentially be in a MAD world writ small.  It worked for a lot of years to prevent the USA and USSR from incinerating each other.  It may be a cultural stereotype, but a lot of people don't think Iran is psychologically balanced enough to maintain that kind of a stand off.  Plus, the cold war took place in a bipolar world.  The ME is multi-polar with many countries, alliances and capabilities to take into consideration.  The very complexity of the situation may be the greatest danger.  And, of course, oil is the ultimate catalyst.

Doug

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2484
Doug wrote:  That's as good

Doug wrote:

That's as good a summation of the strategic and tactical situation in the ME I've seen anywhere.  It seems that, if Iran can develop a nuclear weapon and delivery system, they would essentially be in a MAD world writ small.  It worked for a lot of years to prevent the USA and USSR from incinerating each other.  It may be a cultural stereotype, but a lot of people don't think Iran is psychologically balanced enough to maintain that kind of a stand off.  Plus, the cold war took place in a bipolar world.  The ME is multi-polar with many countries, alliances and capabilities to take into consideration.  The very complexity of the situation may be the greatest danger.  And, of course, oil is the ultimate catalyst.

Doug

Doug -

You've highlighted on the new dynamics that classical deterrence models couldn't account for.  The Cold War scenario of US v USSR fit nicely into the Rand Stability models primarily because it was a strictly bi-polar head to head with tens of thousands of weapons.  The inclusion of UK and French weapons didn't do much beyond a minor complication of the Soviet targeting problem.  The UK and France were both within range of Soviet "tactical" and medium range theater systems so the Soviets didn't have to decommit any of their LRA, ICBM or SLBM forces. 

Most of the stability models I worked with back in the day fell apart below a certain threshold of weapons and the parametric variablilty of a multi-polar scenario such as the Middle East results in too many IF-THEN excursions that are entirely dependent on assumptions that may or may not hold true.

Given the dependency of China, Russia the US and to a smaller extent, India, to Middle East oil, the big unknown is how long a regional conflict between smaller states would remain contained intra-theater.

And FWIW, I am of the opinion that Iran's leadership lacks the psychological balance to function within the world community - much like North Korea.  That is the sad part since the leadership of Iran is not even remotely representative of their people.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Iran's nuke capability

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

1.  Iran DOES NOT have intercontinental delivery capability.  Their longest range weapon is the SHAHAB 3.  It is a medium range, within theater weapon system with a max employment range of about 1200 miles.  The SHAHAB is a knock off of the Korean NODONG - it cannot range the US.

Are you sure about that Dogs.......?  Didn't Iran just put a satellite in orbit?

Mike

2OLD4OKEYDOKE's picture
2OLD4OKEYDOKE
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 72
Good points, Dogs!

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Most of the stability models I worked with back in the day fell apart below a certain threshold of weapons and the parametric variablilty of a multi-polar scenario such as the Middle East results in too many IF-THEN excursions that are entirely dependent on assumptions that may or may not hold true.

... the leadership of Iran is not even remotely representative of their people.

But here's something to consider -- there's more than just one elephant unnoticed in our living room!

1. About Iran ... Anybody bothering to look at a map? What country lies between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran? (Afghanistan?) Remember the great north-south pipeline propaganda fraud from the official propaganda machine back in the early years of the Afghanistan debacle? Well, there never really was such a plan. What there was AND IS ... the central issue of a likely east-west pipeline and other infrastructure linking the People's Republic of China with the Islamic Republic! So, it really isn't a question of the current missile technology of Iran ... it's a matter of what technology (including missiles as good as any on the planet) that can be supplied to Iran by China ... also the strategic use that China might make of USA's awkward position in the Middle East. (Couln't it be convenient for China to have North Korea with a few nukes and missiles, so it can make nuclear threats without risking a nuclear strike against its own territory?)

2. In relation to labor arbitrage and the race to the bottom, we seen to be forgetting entirely the good old American practice of tariffs (a sine qua non of the GOP for its first 100 years). No, we don't have to put a tariff on oil or on raw materials ... just on agriculture and all manufactured goods ... also possibly on some services. The effective tariff on US products going into the People's Republic of China (including various fees and other state-imposed charges on imports) is about 20%. Going the other way, that is, coming in from China, it's maybe 1%!  Of course, there are many arguments to be made pro and con tariffs, such as the argument about retaliation ... but so what? Is our current system of global financial capitalism (neo-mercantilism) so wonderful that no alternatives should be considered? Suppose that there were 15% across-the-board tariffs everywhere, not just at the borders of the USA ... who would lose other than the MNCs? Would there really be more political influence in business (corruption and related market inefficiencies) than now?

And, btw, where in this world is there leadership representative of their people?

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2484
Damnthematrix

Damnthematrix wrote:

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

1.  Iran DOES NOT have intercontinental delivery capability.  Their longest range weapon is the SHAHAB 3.  It is a medium range, within theater weapon system with a max employment range of about 1200 miles.  The SHAHAB is a knock off of the Korean NODONG - it cannot range the US.

Are you sure about that Dogs.......?  Didn't Iran just put a satellite in orbit?

Mike

100% certain Mike.

Orbital mechanics and ballistic mechanics while similar, have some pretty stark differences.  At the risk of oversimplifying here we go....

Orbital mechanics is pretty straight forward.  The rocket launching the satellite needs sufficient fuel to get to the point where it releases the satellite at the appropriate place in space, with the appropriate speed and direction of motion to put it in the desired orbit.  The rest is physics.  The lower a satellite is placed, the higher the required orbital speed. To put a satellite in orbit at 120 miles, the required speed is a little less than 5 miles/second. At that altitude, the satellite will orbit the earth about every 90 minutes.  Conversely, a geosynchronous orbit would require that the satellite be lofted to around 21,000 miles and at a speed of less than 2 miles/second.

There are two ways of looking at orbital mechanics and how a satellite stays in orbit, and both ways are essentially equivalent.  The first is Newton's First Law - once a satellite has been put in motion at the required speed for the desired altitude, it will remain in motion.  The centrifugal force balances the pull of gravity and the satellite remains in orbit.  Frictional forces are minimal, and occasionally a satellite will need to do small control burns to boost it just a skosh higher in orbital elevation or just a skosh faster or some combination of both.  Since the frictional forces are very small, a satellite only needs a small amount of fuel for these adjustments. 

The second way to look at it is that the satellite is constantly falling toward the center of the Earth due to the gravitational attraction of the Earth. However, since the satellite is also moving parallel to the Earth’s surface, the Earth continually curves away from satellite. In a circular orbit, the satellite’s speed is exactly what is required so that it continually falls, but maintains a constant distance from Earth. The required speed depends on the satellite’s altitude because of the Earth-satellite geometry and because the rate at which the satellite falls toward the Earth depends on the strength of gravity at the satellite's altitude.

There are some variables such as inclination angle and how you want the satellite to ground track as it orbits the earth.  A satellite's ground track can never reach a higher latitude than the inclination angle at which the satellite was positioned - unless you have manuevering boosters with sufficient thrust and sufficient stored fuel on the satellite to reposition it, but that is an entirely different issue.  All of that adds up to prelaunch weight which must be factored in to the determining the booster rocket's correct thrust/weight ratio and lift capability requirements. 

Ballistic mechanics are an order of magnitude more complex.  Physics dictates that, in order to range beyond about 100 miles, some component of ballistic missile flight must be exoatmospheric.  A good rule of thumb is that a typical trajectory is an arch about a fourth as high as it is long.  If your target is 6000 miles away, you need to boost the delivery vehicle and/or warhead(s) to an altitude of 1500 miles.  Even a relatively short range shot of a 100 miles has to be boosted to over 125,000 feet. 

In order to range these distances, ballistic missiles have to fly high for two reasons. First, if the peak altitude of the flight trajectory were too low, the warhead would not have time to go very far before gravity pulled it to the ground - limiting employment range.  Exoatmospheric flight is essential to gain time to generate speed, which translates to exoatmospheric altitude which in turn translates to longer range. Second, if a missile were to try to fly at high speed over intercontinental distances through the atmosphere, it would burn up due to air friction long before it reached the necessary speed, much less the target.  The simple effort to overcome air resistance would require so much fuel the missile/warhead/payload would likely run out fo fuel even before it burned up. Because the delivery vehicle can reach high speeds only in outer space, flying mostly through space is essential for the missile to go fast, far, and survive.  Warhead speed is critical in successful ballistic missile targeting.  Higher exoatmospheric altitudes means higher re-entry speeds.  High reentry speeds are necessary to overcome ground based ballistic missile defense systems.  It is exquisitely hard to try to acquire and shoot down something that is traveling at speeds in excess of 7 km/second.  High re-entry speeds also means less time for frictional forces and air resistance to act on the warhead once it re-enters the atmosphere - which in most cases manifests itself in accuracy. 

The booster fuel requirements are very different - to achieve maximum results from propulsion and a high thrust to fuel weight ratio, booster propulsion is optimally slower at first, and then increases as air resistance decreases with altitude. There is no use expending twice as much fuel to achieve a particular speed at a low altitude when by waiting until a higher altitude will achieve that speed with much less fuel.  A satellite booster will have enough fuel to get the payload to altitude and speed.  An intercontinental offensive weapon will have fuel remaining on board as the booster attains exoatmospheric altitudes.  As such, it will use much less fuel to achieve higher speeds at altitude. 

The lift requirements for a rocket to put a satellite in orbit are much less than the lift requirements for exoatmospheric flight to achieve the required altitude and speed for a warhead to gain downrange flight distances for intercontinental strikes.  This factors into the booster fuel requirements to lift the weight of the payload.  Greatly simplified, the heavier the payload, the more fuel that is needed.

A satellite rocket only needs enough fuel to get the satellite to the desired altitude-speed relationship and direction of motion. An intercontinental missile needs sufficient fuel, with sufficient thrust to both boost the rocket to the required combination of speed and exoatmospheric altitude to achieve the desired employment range.

So what does all of this mean regarding Iran?  Simply stated, they have the rocket technology to achieve altitudes and speeds for the orbital mechanic requirements to place a satellite in orbit.  They DO NOT have the rocket technology for ballistic missile employment at intercontinental ranges. 

I've only addressed the physics aspect of this equation.  The other part that is missing is that the Iranians don't even have a weapon (yet).  They don't have the arming and fuzing systems developed and mated to the weapon physics package (that doesn't exist).  These are not trivial technological achievements.  The arming and fuzing systems need to be robust enough to handle the forces of boost, exoatmospheric flight and re-entry.  These systems have to be tested and such testing is observable.  That's why the world yawned in boredom when North Korea did the test launch of their TAEPODONG 2 missile in 2009.  The third stage failed to ignite and separate and the whole mess fell into the Pacific after flying about 2400 miles.  You can't just stack another booster stage on to a rocket and expect it to function properly, yet that is apparently what the North Koreans both did and expected.  While Iran's satellite launch was apparently successful as far as putting an object in orbit, it was not of sufficient length, altitude and speed to attain sustained exoatmospheric altitude and speed consistent with intercontinental ballistic missile employment.

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1106
ability to deliver

Pretty much everything Dogs said.

Plus, while Dogs touched on it a little, the design and development of the Re-entry Vehicle adds a very significant hurdle to developing such a long-range weapon.  That's something you typically don't concern yourself with when launching a satellite, where most of the time your only concern is de-orbiting it safely so it burns up and/or drops into a broad swath of uninhabited ocean.  With a satellite you don't waste time and resources trying to aim for a precise target or concerning yourself about it staying in one piece after re-entry (usually you aim for the exact opposite).

Unless China or Russia is giving them designs and actively helping them develop a Re-entry Vehicle (which I highly doubt as I don't see how that's in their interest), I don't see the critical urgency of the Iran nuclear issue at least as far as a direct potential threat is concerned.  I can see a potential concern about it spurring a regional nuclear arms race among its neighbors, but that's an issue best addressed through diplomacy and soft power, not force IMO. 

As usual, the official story and rationale is found a little lacking...

- Nick

2OLD4OKEYDOKE's picture
2OLD4OKEYDOKE
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 72
Dogs and nickbert move it up another notch!

Really great discussion here on issues over which I am sure only that I have no up-tp-date information and, even if I did, absolutely no ability to influence the course of events. Dogs makes a really great brief analysis of the 'classical' view of the ground-based ABM and space-based Star Wars thing.

And then Nickbert notes that "you don't waste time and resources trying to aim for a precise target or concerning yourself about it staying in one piece after re-entry (USUALLY YOU AIM FOR THE EXACT OPPOSITE)." Yes, indeed, MIRVs! And we thought it was already complex beyond calculation!

Then there's the CW assumption about China and Iran (not to mention Russia and Iran) -- "Unless China or Russia is giving [Iran] designs and actively helping them develop a Re-entry Vehicle (which I highly doubt as I don't see how that's in their interest)" -- yes, that's our standard set of assumptions, isn't it? But is it necessarily all or nothing? Couldn't China or Russia decide that just enough in the way of tech could be made available to Iran that Iran could become a strategic element capable of changing the game in the Gulf? That might be in somebody's short-term  interest, no? Or have global players now advanced beyond mere short-term considerations?

All the wise old dogs seem to be completely agreed on one thing: USA needs somehow to move toward much greater coordination with Russia. There seems to be a major disagreement only as to whether that means placing ABMs in Poland or NOT placing ABMs in Poland. But, IMHO,  that game is mostly for show, not for substance.

http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/23-1581.aspx

Mother Russia!

MHO, what we will see is integration of Russia (Byelorus, etc., and some portion of the former Asian Soviet Republics) with or within the EU. That will be Putin's historical legacy. On the other hand, we see pressures of nationalism building to the point that the CIA has opined that the EU is bound to disintegrate before further integration can be achieved. And then there are those here at CM who confidently hold that the whole integration-globalism thing reduces to the great scheme to enslave mankind to the long-anticipated global fiat ... and it will, before that, all fall apart with inevitable hyperinflation and crowning of King Gold as energy resources evaporate.

Here's how I see the odds -- there will be no defensive ABM line west of Russia -- but there may be such a line somewhere between Teheran and Berlin/St. Petersburg! Or not (it may be completely unnecessary or meaningless). Also, I am betting that EU monetarism will succeed and the EU will survive, and that Russia's entry not particularly into the WTO but actually into the EU is totally inevitable before the end of Putin's final term in office. At the same time it seems likely that not only the ECU system but also, particularly, the Anglo-American banking regime will decline as the IMF accommodates the BRICs. In any event, USA needs to get over the old Cold War Russia-Communist thing, which is really a postmodern revival of the ancient and bloody religious contest between Constantinople and Rome. (That's why McCain lost my vote in 2008, promoting USA siding with Georgia -- a great man, Senator McCain, but how stupid does a military-strategic proposal get?)

One last point maybe -- don't forget defensive ABMs as well as offensive mid-range BMs generally will be or are nuclear armed for maximum effectiveness. That never gets mentioned, but if you were a Russian, yes, you might find that little detail significant.

Madames et messieurs, les jeux sont faits! Bonne chance!

2OLD4OKEYDOKE's picture
2OLD4OKEYDOKE
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 72
Last bit on 'From Russia With Love'

Well, we move on to a new Daily Digest, but just one last remark, for the record.

Of course, some will say that what is happening is anything but integration of EU with Putin's planned Eurasian economic-currency union. But check this out --

"Putin will also do everything to consolidate the South Stream pipeline -- which may end up costing a staggering $22 billion (the shareholder agreement is already signed between Russia, Germany, France and Italy). South Stream is Russian gas delivered under the Black Sea to the southern part of the EU, through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia). If South Stream is a go, rival pipeline Nabucco is checkmated; a major Russian victory against Washington pressure and Brussels bureaucrats." -- Pepe Escobar (at OpEdNews)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Why-Putin-is-driving-Washi-by-Pepe-Esco...

USA focusing on the Russian bogeyman, enlisting Brussels in that regard, is a hopelessly faulty project -- more strategic idiocy out of Washington's so-called "think" tanks. Reach exceeds grasp. "Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent." I don't enjoy having to make such comments, because my investment and my life are very heavily weighted toward USA. I also published such misgivings in 2003 about the invasion of Iraq under the ill-fated PNAC strategy. No one listens. Okay. You pays your money and ....

guardia's picture
guardia
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 26 2009
Posts: 592
Re: Cause and effect

redfir223 wrote:

Although credit card companies do make credit easy they don't force people to use the card any more than cigarette companies force people to smoke. This is not a defense of credit card companies or big banks who issue the cards, it is a recognition that people are a product of their decisions. Donut makers do not make fat people fat. People who are drowning in credit card debt are victims of their own lack of self-discipline and foresight.

That's fine, as long as those same banks would go bankrupt with their clients... but they don't now do they? Who's fault is that? The government, oops... round and round we go, so I would say you are right!

Samuel

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments