The dragon sharpens its claws

And according to the Pentagon, it’s now fielding a new nuclear force able to “inflict significant damage on most large American cities.”

Most disturbing, Chinese military officials have publicly threatened to use that capability against the United States — in a conflict over Taiwan.

“China doesn’t just threaten war, it threatens nuclear war,” said John Tkacik, a China expert and former U.S. diplomat, at a forum in Taipei last weekend. “This is the kind of thing that rattles cages in the U.S.”

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We Can Print Money and Inflate Our Problems Away

I’ll say it again. We face two choices: we can suffer now and return to sound monetary and fiscal policy, or we can print money and inflate our problems away – postponing the suffering until a later date. Of course, if we do choose postponement, the suffering will be much more severe and much more difficult to endure. Yet the truth is we really don’t have two options, because we live in a paternalistic democracy run by politicians who cannot possibly risk angering an irresponsible and undisciplined constituency, and therefore, a return to sound monetary and fiscal policy is about as likely as the sun burning out tomorrow. Sure, it could happen. But it’s not going to. Thus, we arrive at the focal point of my article.

I find myself convinced more than ever by the theoretical and practical maxims of the Austrians, that we are indeed on the verge of an economic and socio-political tragedy whose magnitude is almost unfathomable.

We can’t fix the mess the government has created over the last century; it has sealed its own fate, and the only thing we can do now is watch it unravel and collapse before us, as it delivers the final blows to our weakening currency.

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How to Dodge the Draft in Russia

According to his paperwork, “Dmitri” spent several weeks in a psychiatric institution in the Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia and, soon after, he was finally diagnosed with a mild mental illness. He won’t say what the diagnosis actually is; the important thing for him is that the general finding is stamped across his identification papers. It prevents him from ever getting a job in the Russian government. But more importantly for Dmitri, that medical certification prevents him from being drafted into the army.

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How Israel Foiled an Arms Convoy Bound for Hamas

Israeli fighter-bombers, backed by unmanned drones, were responsible for a mid-January attack on a 23-truck convoy in the Sudanese desert carrying arms to Hamas militants, two highly-placed Israeli security sources revealed to TIME. The attack was a warning to Iran and other adversaries, showing Israel’s intelligence capability and its willingness to mount operations far beyond its borders in order to defend itself from gathering threats.

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Satellite Image Shows North Korean Missile Now on Launch Pad

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North Korea Has Two Nuclear Warheads for Missile, Kyodo Reports

Bloomberg – ?1 hour ago?
By Stuart Biggs March 31 (Bloomberg) — North Korea has two nuclear warheads it can load on its mid-range Rodong missile, Japan’s Kyodo News reported, citing an analyst at the International Crisis Group, a non-government organization.

Los Angeles Times – New York Times – FOXNews – Wall Street Journal

Can the G-20 Save the World?

All eyes are on London this week as leaders from the world’s leading economies gather to find a way out of the growing financial crisis. But tensions are growing between the US, Europe and China, and a common course has so far proven elusive. By SPIEGEL Staff more…

AIG crisis could be tip of an insurance iceberg

The company’s situation reflects problems throughout the life insurance industry as investments suffer. Further strain could bring about a second financial crisis.

The company’s situation is emblematic of problems across the life insurance industry, which is suffering deep losses on investments that underlie policies for millions of American families.

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Iran Ups Support for Gaza and Lebanon Hardliners

It appears that Iran is continuing with is massive support for extremist groups that are intent on attacking Israel. A 20-page dossier compiled by the Israeli intelligence agencies, which has been seen by SPIEGEL, reports that Iran “has strengthened its operative help to Palestinian terror groups.” The military aid is said to take the form of supplies of weapons, ammunitions and money, as well as the education and training of fighters.

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