Monday, May 23, 2011

Post Rapture Reads

Santa Muerte cult in Mexico

Yangtze River Traffic
from All Roads Lead to China

Now that civilization has weathered the rantings of a 89 year old wanta-be Moses, it is time to turn to more earthly issues, like economics, trade, the threats to our security. Let's get right to it by giving top billing to this post coming from the zenpundit where this next post should make anyone on our southern border pause to look at what in happening to our southern neighbor Mexico.

Mark the blogmeister at Zen introduces the post thus.
SWJ has been en fuego the last few days and this is the first of several that I recommend that readers give close attention.
Dr. Robert J. Bunker and Lt. John Sulivan are indicating that the canary in the coal mine phase of Mexico’s narco-insurgency has passed. Mexican society is entering a new and more dangerous period of accelerating cultural devolution. Nacro-insurgent violence has shifted from the economically motivated and brutally instrumental of organized crime syndicates everywhere to culturally totemic and ghastly ceremonials out of tribal prehistory:
Mark's excerpt from the linked post
…Our impression is that what is now taking place in Mexico has for some time gone way beyond secular and criminal (economic) activities as defined by traditional organized crime studies.3 In fact, the intensity of change may indeed be increasing. Not only have de facto political elements come to the fore-i.e., when a cartel takes over an entire city or town, they have no choice but to take over political functions formerly administered by the local government- but social (narcocultura) and religious/spiritual (narcocultos) characteristics are now making themselves more pronounced. What we are likely witnessing is Mexican society starting to not only unravel but to go to war with itself. The bonds and relationships that hold that society together are fraying, unraveling, and, in some instances, the polarity is reversing itself with trust being replaced by mistrust and suspicion. Traditional Mexican values and competing criminal value systems are engaged in a brutal contest over the ?hearts, minds, and souls‘ of its citizens in a street-by-street, block-by-block, and city-by-city war over the future social and political organization of Mexico.
Read more"
Skulls & Human Sacrifice: Bunker and Sullivan on Societal Warfare at SWJ

New city on the Yangtze

Turning to look across the broad Pacific at developments in China are these two posts. First a look at the famous Yangtze River and the exploding economic activity along it's winding course. This report comes from the blog, All Roads Lead to China where the author just returned from a four day trip up the Yangtze.
While relaxing on my recent trip up middle reaches of the Yangtze, I took an opportunity to capture some of the Yangtze’s economic activities. To be honest, while I have been to a number of the ports along the lower reaches, and I have seen plenty of economic booms in my time in China, what I saw on the Yangtze was fascinating .. and at times downright scary.

The post goes on the sketch the new cities and shipping with some random observations.
Economic Activity on The Yangtze

And this from global strategist Thomas PM Barnett on China getting old before she gets rich.
China’s latest census revealed a number of accelerating demographic trends, almost all of which reflect the nation’s three-decades effort to limit population growth under the one-child policy.  Elders now make up 13 percent of the population, up from 10 percent just a decade ago. Meanwhile, the number of under-14 youth declined from 23 percent to 16 percent, signaling a steep drop-off in new labor entering the marketplace.
Read and listen:
Latest Census in China Triggers Fears of Demographic Decline

Finally, this last read is worthy because it is from a retired Army officer who sees the wisdom and logic first posed by Alfred Thayer Mahan a century ago regarding control of the sea lanes to ensure a nation's security and greatness. David S. Pierson penned this essay with a provocative title, Bringing the Hurricane: The American Way of War. Published at The Small Wars Journal.
Over five years have passed since Hurricane Katrina came ashore in the Gulf Coast region and the United States is still recovering from the effects of that storm. In a matter of hours Katrina knocked out power and phone systems, destroyed levees, flooded vast areas of land, destroyed almost 300,000 homes, killed over 1500 people and even changed the political landscape of the United States. For every 20 minutes that Katrina pounded the Gulf States, it produced energy equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding. Imagine if a nation had the ability to drop a storm of such destructive power on its enemies – not a nuclear storm, but a storm of enormous magnitude. Could that nation influence their enemies’ actions and behavior by using such power or even just threatening to use it? While we can’t control the weather, the United States easily possesses the ability to produce similar effects of such a storm. The effects of a storm are widespread, sometimes arbitrary, and not at all surgical in their focus. Such effects run counter to the restrained and measured operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We currently wage war with the precision of a golf course sprinkler system as opposed to potential deluge of armaments that could bring the perfect storm.
Read more:
Bringing the Hurricane:The American Way of War

Enough brain food for now.

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