The Guarantors of Freedom October 2004
Both because we Americans have known only liberty and because we or our forebears found refuge here from every oppressed where else, we understand the value of freedom and, therefore, have assumed responsibility for spreading it to the subjugated, however humble.
True, American motives have not always been unalloyed so freedom took time to eventuate. True again, the people we free sometimes require repeated emancipation. True yet again, America has not been able to free everyone in need.
Nevertheless, it is undeniable that, of all the worlds nations, America alone has hazarded its beloved children and hard-won treasure to free suffering strangers. By PacRim Jims count (see table), approximately 1,000,000 American armed forces personnel have died to free over 1,300,000,000 people, a ratio of at least 1,300 people per dead American serviceman.
Free people everywhere owe their liberty to its sole guarantors, the American armed forces backed by the American taxpayers.
War as Catalyst October 2004
Former putative allies of the United States continue to sit out the defense of the West. Once again, American youths must sacrifice most to remove tyrants boots from the necks of megaforeigners. Its not that Germany, France, Canada, Spain, and other fair-weatheroids are unwilling to contribute, for they offer no end of gratuitous criticism as only shade-sitting onlookers are wont.
Their boilerplate rationale is that this particular war is the wrong war, at wrong time, for wrong motive, by the wrong president,.... What they would deny with what vigor is left to them, however, are their true motives: retention of lucrative contracts with tyrants (i.e., direct or indirect bribes), minimization of military expenditures, avoidance of failure by their underfunded and poorly trained soldiers equipped with obsolete equipment designed for previous wars, refusal to validate American foreign policy objectives, pandering to Americaphobic socialists and communists, fear of domestic Muslim populations, etc.
In their self-congratulatory reverie, however, they have overlookedor what is more likely, forgottenthat the exigencies of war catalyze the development of new military technologies that not only ensure future military competence, but also find commercial application. Therefore, by forgoing participation in this war, they have ensured their inability to compete in future wars, whether military or commercial.
The currency of previous world wars was soldiers by the division. In this war, however, lethal technologies obviate such wholesale sacrifice. Adaptation to the guerilla war against Muslim terrorists will force the United States military to further substitute newly developed technologies for casualties. Most revolutionary among these is the ongoing integration of allied combatants into a battlefield network that provides critical combat intellience in real time. Such an edge minimizes allied casualties by optimally applying resources in space and over time.
Once this battlefield network has been perfected, only proven American allies will be admitted. For obvious reasons, former allies will be locked out...permanently.
The moral? Those who can, do. Those who cant, vilify the doers.
No News Is Network News August 2004
Flip on network TV news?
Read articles and editorialsas if there were a differencein metropolitan newspapers?
Peruse national news magazines?
Not this Pacster.
Why bother? Almost all national journalists hold identical positions over the entire spectrum of issues of moment, so a single exposure to their canon of dogma suffices, obviating the need to surf subsequent waves of words only recently excavated from thesauri.
Dont believe PRJ?
Consider their positions on the following topics:
Home schooling? Against!
Quotas (or affirmative action in Newspeak)? For!
Gun ownership? Against!
Old Europe? For!
U.S. military? Against!
Etc. and etc., ad infinitum and ad-filled.
The sunrise is less predictable.
Because they all start at their destinations, their journeys are fictitious. Hence the popularity of news blogs.
Downward, into the Night August 2004
The global digital communications infrastructure has webbed the world into a tight, real-time infosphere. As a consequence, we Americans are bombarded 24x7 with death threats from aggrieved groups and peoples unfamiliar to most of us just moments ago.
Meanwhile, highly lethal weapons and their delivery systems, whether human or ballistic, are being supplied by the avaricious to the homicidal.
PacRim Jim fears, therefore, that the only effective countermeasure might be escalated preemption of unprecedented ferocity, which wound entail killing millions to get at the hiding hundreds.
Americans assuredly would prevail, but would America?
Tough, irrevocable choices lie ahead, so they must be made by our wisest, for all Americans to come.
The Critical Americans June 2004
This day, as PacRim Jim rolled around town in his explosion-driven box of metal and glass, it occurred that America runs transparently because of the millions of uncelebrated workers critical to its smooth operation. To name but a few, those who build and maintain everything, keep our environment clean, cook our food, educate our children, resuscitate us, beat back flames, defend us from criminals both here and abroadit is they who make America work.
Without overpaid and overhyped entertainers and athletes, America would endure, albeit with untapped toe, unlaughed laugh, and unsprayed raspberry, which is to say that they are dispensable.
Indispensable, however, are the overworked and seemingly unremarked Americans who form the skeleton and muscles of this great nation and without whom it would cease to exist. To all of you the Pacster says, Thank you. You may feel unappreciated, but your fellow Americans know who you are and are grateful for your unstinting efforts.
And Yet... June 2004
Americans, Europeans insist, are globe-bestriding bumblers, self-righteous moralizers who are at once arrogant and judgmental as well as unilateral and slow of wit.
American cities, they say, are cauldrons of crime inhabited by under-vacationed drones who throb to the beat of low popular culture.
American education is as unrigorous as it is unavailing.
American bodies are misshapen in two dimensions and wanting in the third, and were their fodder but slightly more appetizing it would be beneath contempt.
Americans are easily bamboozled by glib, malign politicos of the conservative religion.
Worse, this province of hyper-religious parvenus stubbornly refuses to submit to the indisputable superiority of their Eurobetters.
For these reasons—and others, as if Europeans need cite more—Americans are objects of global detestation.
And yet America is the worlds oldest democracy, the model for free people everywhere and the hope of all who would be free.
And yet America leads the world in scientific research and downstream technological innovation.
And yet Americas military is unchallenged, and at this point, one might even say unchallengeable.
And yet Americas popular culture has become the worlds de facto superculture.
And yet Americas relentlessly enriching, world-animating economy attracts millions of ambitious immigrants from hopeless village and hopeless socialist paradise alike.
And yet, for some reason unaccountable abroad, Americans have sacrificed their children and treasure to free dozens of distant peoples from tyrants, both foreign and homegrown.
And yet, how can this be? How could the common man surpass the ne plus ultra, the European intellectual? What inversion—nay, perversion—of the natural order is this?
PacRim Jim and his fellow Americans know.
Texas Chainsaw Massachusetts May 2004
With posterior planted in the e-Barcalounger, with a premoistened finger aloft and another on the pulse of America, with one eye scanning the horizon and the other browsing blogs, with an ear to a railroad track, and with feet planted firmly on the carpet on the concrete on the ground, ever-undignified PacRim Jim already detects the rumblings of the fast-approaching Bush landslide in November.
Bush-haters (domestic and foreign), terrorists (also domestic and foreign), and others craving the attention their mothers’ withheld need not despair, at least not until 2008. During the 126,230,400 secondsdon’t forget the leap dayof the second Bush term, they will have time aplenty to read WJC’s prest-o change-o oughttabiography. (And, no, WJC does not stand for George W. Bush + Jimmy Carter.)
CondiArnold in 2008 April 2004
Ever obliging, PacRim Jim cogitates that the reader need not. Recently, the Pacster indulged in an unaccustomed multisecond session of catenous logic, which yielded five harmonious words: Condoleezza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2008. The pair would have irresistable political synergy, but it occurred that their candidacy for president and vice-president would require the Pacmeister to wax calorically so that Condoleezza / Schwarzenegger in 2008 would fit on his sole clean T-shirt. Carb me, waiter.
The Outsourcing Potlatch March 2004
The dismal scientists assure us that the outsourcing of American manufacturing and service jobs to India, China, and Povertistan will in the long run enrich everyone, but especially us Americans, who will then move up to better jobs.
They also insist that the millions of illegal immigrants flooding across what used to be called the American border will benefit all Americans by lowering wages and thus prices.
But what if they are wrong, again? What if, say, 75% of all American jobs were outsourced over the next few decades? And are any American jobseven those of economistsimmune to outsourcing? Certainly not manufacturing jobs, which can be relocated anywhere, especially since American corporations all too readily share their latest technologies with foreign subsidiaries. Surely not so-called knowledge-based jobs, since China and India alone annually graduate tens of thousands of scientists and engineers, many of whom speak English.
The Pacster is unsure what will be left after the American job market is depleted, but it wont be democracy, which after all is a luxury of the prosperous.
The Iraqi Vote February 2004
Later this year, a national election will determine Iraqs future for decades to come. Unfortunately, the election will not be in Iraq.
In November, American voters will decide between George W. Bush and a Democrat to be named later. Although this election arguably will be the most important in Iraqs history, Iraqi voters will have no say in it. Rather, they will wait helplessly as American voters choose their future.
On the Democrat hand, Iraqs nascent democracy would collapse if America were to elect a cut-and-run liberal oblivious to the blood-Baath that would result. On the Republican hand, however, democracy would at least have the opportunity to take root, however tentatively.
Because nothing less than the future of 25 million Iraqis is at stake, the Pacster suggests that, this one time, the American Supreme Court interpret our living Constitution in a manner that would allow Iraqis to vote in this particular American presidential election.
After all, the result will be just another president for stable America, but it will be the future itself for Iraq.
Who Owns California? July 2002
Over the millennia, the land of California has been controlled successively by Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans. (As usual, other wild animals have no claim.) Recently, Mexicans have insisted that they stole California fair and square and want it back. Do these erstwhile colonists have a legitimate claim or is it merely another instance of uvas amargas (sour grapes)? Examine the facts and then judge for yourself.
First, as is usually the case, there were the nativesin this case, the so-called Indians who fought for centuries to acquire and then hold onto their ancestral lands (which often had been stolen from other, weaker tribes). The Indian population of California peaked about four centuries years ago, with 300,000 members of 250 cultures, who spoke over 300 dialects of 100 languages. However, they proved to be no match for Spanish priests, pistolas, and smallpox, so over the centuries, 80% of California's Indians were wiped out by successive owners. (Although most California tribal cultures are history, their populations have recovered so vigorously as to be larger than ever.) For more than 150 centuries, though, what is now the state of California was inhabited solely by various Indian tribes. This putatively idyllic arrangement was soon to change, however.
In the 16th century, passing maritime explorers from England and Spain grandiosely claimed parts of California for their acquisitive governments over distant horizons. For a few more generations, however, California Indians remained blissfully ignorant of their fates.
Then, in 1769, Spain began to settle what it called Alta California (Upper California), to distinguish it from Baja California (Lower California). Spains control, which succeeded in forestalling the advance of the Russians moving down from the north, lasted until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain.
Mexican stewardship was brief, however, since both Alta California and Baja California seceded from the Mexican Empire in 1827, and in 1848, under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded the California territory to its present owner, the United States, which admitted the State of California to the union in 1850.
So, who has the best claim to California's land?
The Indians who owned it for more than 15,000 years?
The Spanish who owned it for 52 years?
The Mexicans who at least claimed it for 26 years?
The current owners, the Americans, who have owned it for over 150 years?
Obvious though your answer may seem, its academic and your rationale matters not a whit, because facts never settle international land squabbles. Wars do.
Perhaps the best solution, all things considered, would be for the 30+ million Californians to tramp across the border into Mexicowithout papers, of courseand leave the land to its most harmonious residents, the plants and animals.
God Bless the Ussia April 2002
The moment is now.
Now that Russia remains near its economic and geopolitical nadir.
Now that the U.S. is internationally inclined and feeling vulnerable.
This is the precise moment for the two vast and proud nations to consider a merger—not a takeover, a merger.
Consider the benefits to both sides:
150 million Russians would obtain access to the capital and technology required to create more (and better) jobs. Not incidentally, they would become citizens of the most powerful nation on earth—one that outflanks two potential enemies: land-hungry China, which is casting sidelong glances at empty Siberia, and the power-hungry EU, home to sundry socialists, communists, and fascists who ache to control the lives of everyone but themselves.
280 million Americans would benefit from the improved productivity of hundreds of thousands of well trained Russian engineers. Our security would likewise be enhanced. Plus, there presumably would be thousands of fewer missles pointing our way.
There would be drawbacks, however:
Russians have historically favored an authoritarian central government, which has—ultimately, at least—protected them from Viking, Mongolian, French, English, German, and many other foreign invaders over the centuries. Americans would rightfully fear this dependence as a threat to their liberty.
The American fear of a powerful central government pervades its founding documents, and the protected liberty of Americans is their most prized cultural attribute. Russians naturally would fear the chaos of democracy.
Also, Russians and Americans would rightly fear cultural dilution, if not domination, as well as the implicit extinction of their mother languages.
For these reasons, it would be tricky—but not impossible—to satisfactorily meld the two peoples without sacrificing what they hold dear. Their descendents, of course, would accept the resulting blend as the mother culture.
Despite their gruff exterior, Russians are sensitive, patient, and resourceful people who would contribute much to the union. Although other peoples interpret the can-do attitude of Americans as arrogance, Americans venture abroad only to visit museums and kill people who threaten us, not to build an empire.
Still unconvinced? Then think of all the Olympic medals! (Don't, however, dwell on the Russo-Italian mafia.)
PacRim Jim has even coined the name of the globe-spanning superstate: Ussia.
Now is the time to convene the Intercontinental Congress of Ussia!
Mexico, sí. China, no. November 2001
In 2001, American citizens will send China approximately $70 billionthat's $70,000 million in hard currency. Such is the size of America's bilateral trade deficit with China.
In other words, Americans buy more from China than Chinese buy from the U.S., at the rate of approximately $133,180 a minute or $2,220 a second. This cash hemorrhage is approaching $1 per day per American! And this deficit is expected to increase into the indefinite future.
One would expect China to at least feign gratitude for the windfall from this one-sided trade relationship, or at the very least to moderate their behavior vis-a-vis the U.S. This expectation has proved naive, however. China has stolen American nuclear secrets, detained American tourists and subjected them to show trials, hijacked an American military plane in international waters and ransacked it, materially assisted terrorist states (e.g., Sudan, Iraq), threatened Taiwan with nuclear war, threatened Japan, threatened to nuke Los Angeles, and more.
Simply put, China behaves as if does not value its profitable trade relationship with the U.San ingenuous posture since most of this mountain of American money is used to upgrade the Chinese military, in preparation for what China itself foresees as its upcoming war with the U.S.
What, then, is one to think of Americans who thus finance their own destruction? Are they moth-stupid, hell-bent for the flame? Or are they kept ignorant by self-serving business and political leaders?
In any event, PacRim Jim has a proposal that is guaranteed to enhance American security on not one but two fronts.
Consider: Instead of buying knickknacks made in China (including Hong Kong), why not buy them from Mexico? This would entail the construction of thousands of plants and the training of millions of Mexican (and Central American) workers. Prices might be expected to rise a bit, since Mexican workers are higher paid than their Chinese counterparts. Once transportation costs are figured in, however, the disparity would be much less. In fact, America would save money, because less taxpayer money would be diverted to counter the diminished Chinese threat.
Imagine a $70 billion non-oil trade deficit with Mexico.
The numerous benefits to the U.S. and Mexico would be relationship-transforming: Millions of jobs would be created south of the border, where workers could afford to remain, instead of desperately flooding into the U.S. Mexicans would have billions of dollars to spend on U.S. products. Mexico would be able to clean up its environment. Mexican children would be better educated. Equally important, China would have much less money for arming their military, thereby diminishing its threat both regionally and globally. Then China would have to earn America's trust to qualify for any future trade. Imagine that.
Unconvinced? Then consider this: That son of yours now playing on the floor with Chinese-made action figures might be among those called to fight a future nuclear war with China.
To foresee war but fail to forestall it is to merit oblivion.
America, the Erstwhile Ally November 2000
As this editorial is being written, the United States is undergoing a coup d'etat at the hands of unprincipled, power-grabbing judges and politicians who put party before nation. If the coup succeeds, the Clinton-Gore incubus will have decoupled the U.S. from the rule of law, for which so many thousands of Americans have died.
Given, too, that the American President prefers to hobnob with the Communist dictators of China and Cuba, it would be foolish for Japan to depend upon the assistance of a principled United States in any future crisis.
If Japan desires to remain independent in the shadow of this now venal superpower, its only alternative is to rearm—rapidly and conspicuously. Without principles, America—like China and Russia—will respect only power.
Land of the Setting Sun? August 2000
Late in the 20th century, the Japanese economy grew rapidly to the second largest in the world, and even threatened to overtake the largest economy, that of the United States.
For this and other reasons, such as America's military ties with Japan and the strong Japanese-American lobby, Japan remained the ally of the U.S. in the Far East.
This will soon change.
Despite—or perhaps because of—the increasing economic and military rivalry between the U.S. and China, the U.S. will find it in its national interest to consider China the voice of the Far East.
Consider the following trends:
• Many predict that because China has four times the population of the U.S. (and ten times that of Japan), its economy will rival and eventually surpass that of the U.S. in the 21st century.
• China is building ships, rockets, and thermonuclear weapons to better project power abroad, while Japanese "Self-Defense Forces" languish.
• The influence of the Chinese lobby in the U.S. already has surpassed that of the Japanese lobby. There are more than 1.6 million Chinese-Americans, compared with 850,000 Japanese-Americans. Each year over 40,000 Chinese immigrate into the U.S., while only 6,000 Japanese choose to do so. Moreover, the aggregate family income of Chinese-Americans has far surpassed that of Japanese-Americans. Obviously, the Overseas Chinese will prove to be a source of strength to the Middle Kingdom.
Therefore, although Japan could count on the military support of its U.S. trump card in the 20th century, in this century the Land of the Rising Sun would be unwise to do so.
Diaspora strengthens. Insularity weakens.
Geostrategic Ninjas August 2000
After a brief respite from the Cold War, humanity now is experiencing the Asian version of brinksmanship.
Today China threatens Taiwan with thermonuclear holocaust. Can anyone doubt that tomorrow it will be Japan, as China seeks to weaken U.S. influence in the region?
What is Japan to do? Article 9 of its Constitution will be of precious little help against belligerent China.
An important part of Japan's 21st-century geostrategy will come from a just-in-time source: the Internet (and World Wide Web).
America developed the Internet in order to distribute its network servers throughout the U.S., thereby making them less inviting targets and ensuring the robustness of its communications network. One benefit therefrom has been the distribution of U.S. technical assets throughout the world, although they remain overly concentrated in Silicon Valley.
With its Technopolis strategy, Japan has adopted a similar strategy of dispersing human and equipment assets, by locating miniature Silicon Valleys throughout Japan instead of concentrating them in the vulnerable metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka. Indeed Japan has dispersed assets worldwide, both physically and via the World Wide Web, partly in order to ensure their survival and minimize the number of potentially crippling targets.
No doubt Japan also will prepare for retaliation via the World Wide Web using computer viruses, intelligent agents, etc., via both wired and wireless links.
The important point is that by making all of Japan the target, there is no target.
After all, one cannot attack fog.
Pocket Monsters Indeed! April 2000
In a formal ceremony held at Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto, Santa Claus and the Pope formally and unconditionally surrendered Christmas to the Pokemon. Nintendo plans to rechristen—an unfortunate choice of words—the day "Pokemas." This is doubly disturbing because, to an adult's eye, these 150 or so Pocket Monsters are nothing but uninspired drawings of unimaginative characters. But there is something about them that opens the hearts of children—not to mention our wallets and purses. Get used to it adults, you'll be working several weeks this year just to pay for all the Pokemon thingamajigs cramming the ships GPSing their way to our ports. Maybe by next Christmas we will be able to start a back-fad that will seduce Japanese children.
Fad wars, anyone?
China Helps Japan Obtain MIRV Technology November 1999
Unthinkable? After all, they have been bitter enemies for 10% of this millennium.
It should happen, but not like you think. Let me explain.
Thanks to treachery at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Beijing is now the proud, if silent, possessor of U.S. MIRV technology.
What is MIRV technology?
MIRV stands for "multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles." This means that each Chinese missile would function like a bus. After launch, approximately 10 thermonuclear warheadseach at least five times as powerful as those used on Hiroshima and Nagasakiwould leave the "bus" and steer independent trajectories to their targets. These would allow a single missile fired from China to obliterate 10 cities. For example, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Osaka, Sakai, Wakayama, Himeji, Akashi, Takamatsu, and Tokushima. Or San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Berkeley, Stockton, and Vallejo. Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, and gone.
Although it's too late to prevent the loss of this technology, there remains the problem of how to deter the theft of possibly even more destructive technology.
The answer is simple: Counterterror.
In the case of China, the U.S. could publicly give Japan the same technology that was stolen. More generally, when the U.S. determines that a country has stolen information potentially damaging to itself or its allies, it should give the technology to the traditional enemy of the thieving country.
Potential spies would then know that their actions would reduce the security of their own country.