July 24, 2012
In the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/world/middleeast/chemical-weapons-wont-be-used-in-rebellion-syria-says.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120724 – it is evident that Syria has a large cachet of WMD. Why? Well Saddam’s stock must have gone somewhere when sabrés were rattled.
Syria is all that is left of the common Ba-athist political party that fell with Saddam in Iraq. What is Ba’athism? It is an Islamic form of Socialism. Possibly a good thing for the Arab World to balance the many dynastic totalitarian ruled cultures that seem stuck in feudal existence. That Syria has many weapons of mass destruction was predicted. It was reported on the news that weapons were probably hidden in Syria, the storage place inheriting Saddam’s WMD. There may well have been much political cooperation between their governments both under the iron grip of a leader past his use by date, slaughtering dissidents. His domination of a country by going to war with factions is in common.
And now the Assad regime is bombing Allepo. And denying that they would use chemical weapons on Syrians. Foreign invaders would be a completely other matter. Will Romney start to threaten to invade Syria? Seems a natural. Or he will he be beaten to it. The temptation must be terrible on both candidates. They see it in different terms.
All the more so as it is probably quite correct – that Syria indeed has WMD and that someone is going to do the equation that constructed history. The problem is going to be the brutal Assad regime. It is going to be the WMD, and now it seems only natural that the UN will demand that Syria give them up. Or face terrible consequences.
Who would America trust in such a scenario. The guy who killed that terrorist guy.
July 22, 2012
Guns are a religion in America. It is amazing how second amendment faith does not get shaken by these mass shootings. They shake their heads reassuring themselves “It’s not the guns that kill, it’s people that kill people.”
If you allow broad proliferation of weapons, then people will die. And, if you don’t the same thing may happen, anyway. The act of one individual with a particular distorted view of the world developed by obsessive behaviour and at a particular revision or developmental stage can have an impact that is amplified and acted upon to an extent of terrible violence and unbelievable harm. Or without the weapons would it just be a lunatic waving his arms around and disturbing cinema goers?
We have evolved fiction as a means to understand the more difficult parts of human nature. These thoughts exist already, the fiction does not inform, it may provide a storyline but so does Crime and Punishment, and The Bible, and we do not see these works as informing murderers to murder. Our fiction is our strength. It allows us to learn consequence without hurting ourselves.
It is not the gun that kills. It is not the snake that bites. It is not the disease I will catch. The safety hymns of reassurance we need to remember to stay sane. Of course over 99.99% of the people we know will probably survive the week and if we all behave, well and good. Violence is visible in a moderate environment. We believe outbreaks can be quickly contained, quelled and increasingly these days crave harsh decisive treatment by the police.
The London Olympics. Isn’t it nice for the Tory government to be seen by the world for the next few weeks having the military providing a security presence. It is seem almost logical to get them dressed in mufti. No! That would be even creepier. The cameras of the world will record the UK in the guise of a military dictatorship. And maybe that’s fair. It has been hard to discern Osbornomics as much apart from a grand Malthusian erosion of the needs of the state by shipping the poor off to forgotten council estates to fend for their financial existence he is exerting a kind of social totalitarianism. But now they exert a show of the military for the most watched World gathering of sports. I think that it is a Government ploy, a kind of show-piece Falklands – a Thatcherite glow of austerity for people and freedom of the corporate monster to consume them.
Countries survived on bluster backed by destructive power and domination. Bluster is only useful if it can be backed by military force. Something Britain had talent for. It is a dishonest assessment of our safety and economic state.
It guns become part of the culture, when citizens bear deadly force, you probably need a functioning social infrastructure without the usual feeders of crime. It still does not stop those with emotional demons or subverted realities from acting out drama with a deadly set of consequences.
July 21, 2012
Why is America the greatest country in the world?
It is not countries. It is ideals. And something has crept into culture that redefines political entities. America is a continent, a super country make up of smaller entities ruled in their own right. It’s political system is so focused on itself, its steel backbone of fundamentals that strengthen resolve but also provide for criminal elements and the enslavement of others which is why America is so good at screwing itself and the rest of humanity.
It is an easily hijacked one way or the other political system that favours elitism over the plight of the poor. It reduces the role of Government to that of lawmakers who try to keep up with a changing world, finding that things like making health care possible for all is an act of humanity that transcends political views. Providing for pensions and education. Some things a Government simply has to support or there is no progress to greatness. Government has a purpose.
A leader has another. He or she is there to guide and set the people with a philosophy and if America now questions itself accurately and honestly, it may well discover that it is precisely that thing. The affecting of the action of the individual that America cares about, its cultural ideal no longer resonates with the febrile narcissism of a sports hero but now the hedonism of a self righteous coddled experience. Indulgence should not be the strong point, however it is not the indulgence that harms.
What seems most harmful is the impoverishing and immobility of the base of the pyramid. Its capitalism demands that half the country is less successful, that many are living more pointless lives and stuck in a relentless poverty that restricts many to provide for an elite who can indulge themselves like rock star chic out partying all night and being covered in the newspaper. A purile necessity perhaps, but one that is cast in the iron creuset of inescapable cultural cooking. Those locked into inescapable necessity must have its little chuckles at the plight of the very rich.
Should America consider a course of fairness for all tempered by a vital entrepreneurial spirit instead of one driven by consumption? A baseline of at least being alive and educated, to participate, to survive with bubbles of economic success
Economic destiny has become all consuming. It is what we do as a world, as a society and as a local community that matter. The actions of individual matter too. We all do. That is the very point.
July 20, 2012
After Columbine, after numerous shootings and violence in America and copy cat events in other countries, what is to blame?
The crowd in a comic book violence movie were shot at by a young man bearing arms, smoke bombs and a gas mask. Fundamentalists will blame the movie. Others will blame video games and our violent culture. But the real issue here is the right to bear arms forming a basic part of the constitution.
“There is no link to terrorism” – rubbish. It is terrorism, domestically sourced and just as deadly. It is wrong to allow people to carry guns. They kill people.
The above item was published 20 July 2012 12:27 BST
Update: editorial in The Guardian Friday 20 July 2012 20.20 BST
July 8, 2012
(Update: no progress on Syria).
January 17, 2012
Ron Paul is not advocating use of drugs, he is advocating pure choice. How does his model of society treat a victim of crime? These are the margins that would be sacrificed, very progressive, very unkind, very fair, a world where money talks, a world where money shouts, when you are down and out.
Foolishly, left as a comment on youtube
November 26, 2011
As the Occupy Wall Street Protests continue – there appears to be a very disturbing federal effort to disrupt the protest. Naomi Woolf writes this is indicative of corruption at the highest levels – greedy members of Congress who pass laws that benefit their own back pockets. And the federal coordination of police action spraying pepper into the eyes of students and old people who are protesting against this corruption is the beginning of a class war – a civil war in America
America is proud to be called the land of the free, but there is nothing free about absolute Government control, there is no freedom if the majority are slaves of the few. The movement of American politics from idealism to idolatry is directly linked to the actions of Al Qaeda who’s act of war against America has created a monster that increasingly is a threat to itself and others. To carry a debt of 15 trillion dollars is to deny that wealth to others – American debt is so much larger than it should be and there is a good reason for this distortion – what is that money funding, exactly?
It is funding corruption that is rife through every seat of government. Every particle of pepper spray emitted from the can that cop held is a bolder smashing down the principles of liberty and freedom that America holds so dear. Like King Kong, it has been driven mad and is stomping on the ground without understanding the consequences of its actions. Unfortunately for us all, Obama is the only sane politician but that is because he is not a politician – he is just a mere voice in a forest of knives bleeding the beast of all its primal power.
America can not move away from this state of religious fury unless an event distracts them, it seems. 9/11 turned America from a greedy pig into a complex, wild boar out to eat itself.
September 11, 2011
Regardless if it was Al Qaeda, or a cover-up conspiracy that seems both rather plausible and extremely unlikely at the same time, the buildings came down and America went to war.
The idea that 9/11 was a self inflicted conspiracy may be attractive as a fiction. But in reality it serves to inflame the wrong side of patriotic feeling. Simply put, 99% or more of Americans felt a sense of great loss as the towers collapsed into the ground. It may have looked like controlled demolitions but that does not necessarily prove that they were controlled demolitions.
Great loss that translated into a terrible anger that been the main news story of the past 10 years. More distracting than the Japanese Tsunami. Not to mention the greatest disaster in history – the 2004 Tsunami and wars in Sudan each involved far greater loss of human life and dignity than either the events of 9/11 or the wars that followed them. And we stopped talking about those events. 9/11 is better “news”.
It is factual that the invasions, especially Iraq, were not what prevented other attacks being planned or being successful. It is also true that they may have made matters more dangerous for a time in terms of both threat and economically.
There is more than one way to conquer a disease. You can kill it with some kind of poison, or you can strengthen the body’s natural defences. The first course of action, typically with antibiotics – seems a valid course until disease evolves that penicillin can no longer touch. Making the immune system more able to cope with disease is a better long term solution.
It is quite true that some attacks were prevented by military intervention, it is true, but when people like Richard Reid (the shoe bomber) were stopped it was mainly due to public awareness as well as less effective planning and execution by Al Qaeda.
A misconception is that the Government protects its citizens, it is probably more true to say that citizens protect their government.
September 10, 2011
Wonderful bizarre and appealing to 3D movie junkies and gamers everywhere, Ron Paul, the animation?
September 6, 2011
The most conservative politician in America is not a Tea Party irrationally motivated soccer mum.
It is a rationalist who argued against the Iraq war, who predicted the Global credit meltdown. He also opposes welfare and taxation. In other words he may be the only actual conservative candidate. The others invest in foreign adventurism, inflation of the economy and fundamentalist Christian values. Although Ron Paul opposes abortion, he does frame his argument as a personal opinion. There is no hell and damnation diatribe to inflate his argument that he considers life is sacred.
He may be the most conservative, but he also appears to be sane. Judge for yourself. If the Republicans were to select him, America will have a genuine choice between the manufactured consent that has produced governments since the 1960s and a profound shift back to core values that may have extreme consequences, not all of them good, but ultimately medicinal in that what is left of the patient will survive the operation.
I do not want to criticise the Obama administration against the crop of Tea Party candidates. If Rick Perry and Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann get a mandate, it could wreak the genuine side of freedom and liberty that is the spirit of America. If it proceeds along the path that Iran has chosen, a theocracy or fear led fascism – it could be terrifying to the rest of the world.
If America were to chose between Ron Paul vs Obama – then there would be a choice of the best that each side has to offer.
September 4, 2011
Politics needs evolution too.
The US were way ahead of the game before GW Bush made the biblical error of declaring war on Iraq despite the evidence and spent the American economy into extraordinary debt compounded by fraud and banking fantasy-land mathematics. It was a stampede into insolvency that left the economy etherised on the table hooked up to the life support of QE.
Did we evolve better politics? It seems to be a long-term-only option. After Bush, the Democrats fielded two viable candidates but then the elected House of Representatives failed to pass laws when it could and then handed Congress back to the Republicans.
Political evolution seems to be the underlying problem in Western economies. Why do our democracies become increasingly more corrupt? As the pie gets bigger the shared slices get smaller.
Politics is not evolving, it is collecting a cloud of believers and faith healers.
July 27, 2011
Legislation of a debt ceiling does not absolve the US from its obligations.
UPDATE: The 14th Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that Congress must not default on its obligations.
While the USA frantically tried to save the world with a nuclear arsenal they could never use and military overspending on wars that did no good, we see the East’s rise to financial domination by engaging huge numbers of lowly paid workers to export in a way that nobody was able to compete with. If you want something manufactured, get it done in China has been the wisdom of the past 60 years. Market forces!
The agenda of the lever pullers seems to be to froce the USA to default and evade repayment. By making it effectively illegal for the USA to meet its obligations, the USA will have to default. The net effect of the USA not borrowing any more is being described in philosophic terms – what would the result be?
I think the answer to that not yet knowable. But certainly creditor nations will invest elsewhere and perhaps it will be the final straw that breaks US economic hegemony. Time for a new deal?
If Obama was to be effective, he needed the Democratic support in his first two years. Sad that they fiddled while the midterm elections were lost. Back to American isolations, anyone?
July 25, 2011
The Republican “end game” would be everything owned by big corporations not necessarily aligned with nations as entities but freely enriching shareholders from anywhere avoiding tax as their earnings are processed where there are no taxes.
If these mega corporations are able to employ everyone for a pittance then we are buying into a return to slavery.
Is this essentially the same model that makes China appear successful? Enslavement of the majority for the benefit of the few. The problem with the Republican End Game is the loss of what America is – the most rewarding economy for invention. As these corporations become less answerable to Government, they become more able to break the covenant of fairness. The Murdoch empire is a case in point. A corporation which supported a culture of law breaking that believed it could do this with impunity, which it did for twenty years before a single case sharpened public revulsion with the practice. That is what democracy does, it pitches the majority against the business interest and belief of an individual who learns that the end justifies the means time and again.
Democracy allows for peaceful revolution. An absence of democratic principles as in the case of Libya demands more severe responses. The essential problem here is a duality where both sides are destructive to each other. A unified system that causes progress according to long term principles appears have delivered stable growth in China for the last 3 decades by enforcing cheap exports to the world while the West has been experimenting with Freedman’s economics, gambling as though it were an addict. When cronyism and corruption abide, and capital exists only for its own maintenance, there are economic distortions that will result in disasters.
The West can rescue itself by very progressive and specific Government spending on the correct programmes. Education for all, being the most important. Obama decided to invest in rescuing mortgages and jobs but with poor returns. The Republicans want to reduce taxes and spending and leave America a first world city state in a third world country.
See also: Huffington Post
November 24, 2009
The US debt emergency is coming, and it is a man made Tsunami – after the erasure of an accumulation of massive fictional wealth – the complex debt structures borrowed with leverage against assumptions that have resulted in systemic deficiencies and bailouts – and may result in the collapse of one set of rules in favour of a new set.
October 9, 2009
President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee said.
“His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”
July 31, 2009
Signs of an economic recovery are starting to appear. After recapitalising the financial system, President Obama kept the US economy liquid. This is may have averted more depressing news but as the bankers start to return funds they were lent by the tax payer the question arises, where to now for the US economy?
July 15, 2009
Sarah Palin has been published in the Washington Post criticizing Barack Obama’s “Cap and Tax” energy policy. This appears to be an early evidence of why she resigned her appointment as Governor of Alaska. To take over the role of “Leader the of Opposition” as the now disheveled GOP Republican Party seems to have nobody but the ineligible Dick Cheney to foster its support base? That certainly seems the case, or Dick would have been less assailable in the media. Sarah Palin fares no better.
Sarah Palin, Voice in the Wilderness – full article.
July 4, 2009
In a move universally seen as ridiculous, Sarah Palin resigns as Governer of Alaska. Not during the good times does she hand it over to a well groomed successor, no epic battle, no scars, no situation. Just givin’ up is all.
May 13, 2009
Listen carefully to Keith Olbermann’s biting logic.
See also: Disturbing Trends analysis of Sarah Palin, during the Presidential election cycle.
March 20, 2009
Economies go both ways. Capital investment carries risk. If you invest properly, you do not overexpose yourself to risk. No 1 rule. Wall Street invested in risk and imported goods and when that faced by inevitable collapse they expected the Government to ameliorate the risk without addressing the effects on consumers?
The US Government are forced to lower the dollar as the demand for capital was increased by the drainage of credit. AIGs failure was triggered by irrational contracts over Lehman Bros failure.
So Bush bailed out the banks. Obama has prevented the pain being felt by the masses. Ron Paul is Right, but not for this time, thank-you very much. He should lead the Right, however, he far more brilliant than any other Republican leader.
The financial system needs to clean itself out of nonsense. That is what is stopping investment. People do not trust the markets to act in an honest or beneficial way due to ridiculous risk exposure. Trust was destroyed by AIG. You can not put a price on trust.
March 8, 2009
The fundamental of the economy of any country is that it’s people are doing something productive, and for that they can eke out a living, whether it be a basic or a more expensive variety – the function they are being rewarded for is difference, change, something as a result of their actions.
February 27, 2009
All this focus on the economy may mean we take our attention off the real issue. All the focus on sectional interests and pressure groups that drive the climate change agenda, instead of actual planning to change things that must change is distracting humanity from its mission, its meaning and its life.
Real progress follows talking about it, only if plans are made real without all the political watering down of meaning that occurs.
February 25, 2009
It just shows that trust in the power of the inheritance as a way to provide tribal continuity is a mirage. The way to provide for all people is to enable everyone to be able to pick themselves up regardless from what station they started…
Latest article on the inside Disturbing Trends – Predicting Future politics
February 7, 2009
The cliché “gracious in defeat” does not apply. The man took the US elections by storm, has entered office on a cloud of public approval and reached out over the divide. The sharp discord struck by Republican refusal to back the Obama stimulus plan has seen a return to campaigning for public endorsement. President Obama does not need any more public support for his bail out. It seems that the failure of the Democrats to demonize the Bush administration may have certain blow-back effects on progress. One of these is the simple idea – do not trust your enemy with your valuables. Another – judge the Republican Party based on its more recent values and performance than on its history.